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H. Wendell Cherry ’54

Brother Wendell Cherry is a March 28, 1954 initiate of Beta-Nu Chapter. He was vice chairman of Humana, Inc., operator of a nationwide chain of hospitals and provider of health insurance for 1.6 million people. He founded Humana in 1961 with David A. Jones, and had many interest outside the health-care field. He owned the Kentucky Colonels basketball team and was president of the American Basketball Association before its absorption into the National Basketball Association.

He was a collector of Art which included a self-portrait of Picasso and a Broadway producer whose shows included “The Secret Garden”.

He was a native of Hart County. He was a graduate of the University of Kentucky and its law school. In 1959, he began a law practice in Louisville and taught economics at the University of Louisville. Over the years Brother Cherry identified with many activities in Louisville. He was a lawyer for a group of Louisville sportsman who sponsored the boxer Cassius Clay. The boxer went on to win the world heavyweight championship in 1964 and later became Muhammed Ali.

In the late 1960s, Brother Cherry headed a campaign to refinance a number of Louisville projects, including rebuilding of the Louisville General Hospital into the Humana Hospital-University of Louisville, one of four Humana medical centers in Louisville.

He was a pivotal figure in raising $13.5 to build the Kentucky Center for the Arts, which was completed in 1983, and served as its board chairman from 1980-1987. Brother Cherry joined the Chapter Celestial in 1991.